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Critical Legal Studies: A Political History

Mark Tushnet
The Yale Law Journal
Vol. 100, No. 5, Centennial Issue (Mar., 1991), pp. 1515-1544
DOI: 10.2307/796697
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/796697
Page Count: 30
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Critical Legal Studies: A Political History
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Abstract

In this Article, Mark Tushnet examines the history and current situation of critical legal studies, telling the story of how the legal academy both tolerates and contains a radical political group. He begins with the present, describing the academic-political terrain occupied by cls and arguing that cls is not so much a movement as it is a "political location" for a varied group of people on the Left in the legal academy. After tracing the events and intellectual concerns that led to the formation of cls as an organized location and highlighting the influence (and inadequacies) of Marx, Weber, and the legal realists, Tushnet turns to the "dark ages" and "prehistory" of critical legal studies. He shows how the anticommunism of the 1950's and events at Yale Law School in the 1960's played a role in the formation of what was to become critical legal studies. Finally, Tushnet discusses the future of critical legal studies and concludes that, while cls is unlikely to enjoy dramatic growth, it will remain embedded in the pluralistic universe of the legal academy.

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